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Recent Tasting Notes

reviewed The Tea Shaker by Teaware
1220 tasting notes

First impressions follow.

Since this came today, I decided to try it out with some Dragonwell. I heated up water, and poured it in. A bit went through to the other side while I put the lid on. I started shaking it. It feels a bit ridiculous, and at the same time it seems like there is no way this is going to make anything but slightly tea tasting water. But it definitely made me a good cup of tea. It’s not oversteeped, it’s not too light. Granted I should have probably used a tea I’ve had before so I can really check, but not bad.

I just wish I had better English instructions (it has a little card in Chinese in it and that’s it). I’m going to send them an email asking about how much tea should be used per each cup.
I’ve been told 8g is good, the tea should fill the top part when it’s expanded, so it’s basically more like a gaiwan than anything.

Other bits: The strainer will let in small bits but so few strainers avoid that anyway.

The caps get hot while shaking, but the body of the shaker isn’t too bad. Granted, I also have a high tolerance for heat when it comes to the palms of my hands, so I am not the best person to go by on this.

All in all, I can’t wait to travel with this. I’m thinking it just changed my mind about going on a trip, and I will go after all (okay, it was also that there may be a growler of beer just for me up there). Definitely easier to throw in a bag than anything else I have, so we’ll see how it works over the weekend for me! It might limit my tea options (tisanes are totally out of the question with this, I’d think) but it’s so pretty and intriguing and awesome that that is okay!

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I got this yesterday as a Mothers Day present from the husband. It was smaller than I had expected and yields only around 3oz of tea once the leaf has unfurled (I did brew a Tieguanyin which is known for its expanding nature). The tea cups are tiny and I figured out very quickly that I would not be drinking out of them as I did not like the feel of them on my lips and the taste they added to the tea (yes I have drank from yixing cups before and that was enjoyable). Brewing yesterday was a bit of trial an error, my fingers got a bit burnt and I had to cut back on leaf and water but I eventually got some pretty good gongfu going last night. I had three sessions this morning before deciding to switch my leaf to the excess I had pulled out to dry last night. I rinsed the gaiwan with warm water but apparently not for long enough as when the water I had brought up to 200 degree hit the side of the gaiwan I heard a horrible pop and watched helplessly as my tea leaked onto the counter. Now I do mostly blame myself for this, but I will not be reordering this or another yixing clay porcalain lined gaiwan. For as striking as they may be, I honestly had a wierd feeling yesterday when I pulled this out of the package that it was frail and brittle, paper thin but not strong like bone china. The husband has graciously offered to order me another gaiwan, I will be selecting more carefully this time and am open to suggestions. I am just grateful that this was only $16 for the set and that the crack did not split the form, so it can sit on top of the tea hutch with its three thimble cups next to my bulky sage green dragon and phoenix yixing pot and cups, yep I’m a sucker for raised dragons. Sigh.

Spoonvonstup

Oh no! You poor thing. Makes me feel bad just thinking about that sound.

TeaBrat

oh no…! So sorry. :(

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100

Best tea tumbler I’ve ever used. The basket has tiny holes instead of being a mesh, so I’m unlikely to break it and only the tiniest bit of tea particles get through. I love that you can flip it to stop the steeping, and you don’t have to take out the basket to drink it. Not so good for use when driving, but fantastic for drinking out and about.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C

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94

Technically this was made for coffee but it is my tea brewing vessel of choice. I found this at Starbucks. It currently sells for $16.95. The carafe is borosilicate glass. The frame is 30% post consumer plastic. The plunger and filter screen parts are stainless. The 4 cup version holds up to 17oz (503ml). I generally fix a single cup at a time.

To use, the loose leaf is put in the carafe. Water is heated in a separate kettle and poured into the carafe. The lid/plunger assembly is placed on top the carafe with the plunger in the up position. The leaf is free to move about. When the steeping time is done the plunger can be pushed down or left up and the tea poured into the cup without the leaf escaping.

Clean up is as simple as removing the lid, turning the carafe upside down over a compost bowl and wiping with a paper towel. Since it is glass it does not absorb any of the flavor of the tea so a simple rinse is usually sufficient. Honestly, most of the time wiping with the towel gets it clean enough. It is dishwasher safe. Occasionally I dismantle the stainless filter assembly for a more thorough cleaning.

This is excellent especially for green and white teas where holding the heat in is not as important. It has the added advantage of allowing you to observe the dance of the leaf during steeping. To me if you can’t watch the leaf you are missing an important part of the experience.

I also use it for black, puerh, and oolongs. Puerh generally uses such short steep times that heat dissipation is not an issue. For teas that require long steep times of several minutes, you may prefer another method but I personally have never found heat dissipation to be a problem. Rooibos and very fine leaf is better served with a Finum basket.

If you push the plunger down after steeping, it does not actually press the leaf. There is a good half inch of space between the screen and the bottom of the carafe. If you don’t push the plunger down, you will need to put a finger over the lid to keep it from sliding and causing some spilling.

I chose the press over a gravity feed system (like IngenuiTEA) because this was glass, not plastic, and it was cheaper. I also was concerned any device that pours tea out the bottom might eventually leak.

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85

This thing seriously keeps things hot for a long, long time. I’m so impressed!

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85

I got this as a present from someone who knows I love tea! I washed it up and brought it to work today to try out. It doesn’t seem like it holds very much, but I appreciate the mesh tea strainer. I’m drinking some Oolong from Verdant this morning. The tea strainer is easy to use, although I wish I had a place to put it until it’s time to steep again.

I accidentally screwed on the lid wrong and tea dripped out and burned my arm. Make sure you screw it on carefully and look to make sure it’s straight across. If it’s tilted even a little it will leak as you try to drink.

Okay, the arm-burning aside, I like this! It has kept my tea warm for hours. HOURS! This is even with the lid that has openings to drink — not the screw-on one. I think it seemed like it didn’t hold much because it has some serious insulation in there. It really works! Usually my tea is ice cold by this time of the morning. YUM, hot tea! The person that gave this to me was right on the money.

Hesper June

I have about three thermos cups, I believe.
And they rate as follows, for drinking immediately, one for drinking if I am driving somewhere a ways and want to start sipping about a halfhour after I left home, and then the one that I can not touch for hours later, lest I scald my lips, tongue and throat,but if you want hot tea 3-4 hours after you left home, it does the job.

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100
reviewed Disappearing Tardis Mug by Teaware
674 tasting notes

HA. YES.
Because I’m a nerd and I love Doctor Who.
A mug is a mug! This one is very special because… DISAPPEARING TARDIS OKAY.

Shmiracles

want want want! hah

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85
reviewed Aladdin Tea Infuser Mug by Teaware
1 tasting notes

As far as portable infusers go, this is by far the most superior one in my humble opinion. The sole reason for this is not the aesthetic, nor the BPA-free plastic and what have you. It is for the sole reason that the little strainer can, with the switch of a lever, be taken out of the water at will and thus you have nearly full control over the steeping time.

This is key to any tea epicurean, not so? Even the finest Yi-xing clay tumbler has nothing on this piece of plastic for this one reason. None of the portable glass presses that I’ve seen, or any other tea traveler, mug or tumbler has this option. All except this one, will leave the leaves in the water until you empty the tumbler – this is a fatal shortcoming.

All other qualities are touched on in the other review. I’ve had mine for 6 months and have had no problems with it. Water stays very warm, never spilled in my bag etc. I’ve dropped it x times to many though, far too many, and it’s not as pretty as it used to be – but it steeps as well as ever.

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85

The coolest tea travel mug around! Just make sure you screw the caps on tightly! I love using this tea tumbler for cold steeps and iced tea, but it also does well with hot green and white teas.

I got this travel tumbler from http://zentealife.com/

The bad? It advises not to use boiling water in the instructions. You wouldn’t want to use anything more than 200F anyways as the body also gets pretty hot. The filter is also on the small side and is a tight fit if you use whole leaf teas intended to make a full 16oz tumbler of tea.

I still love this tumbler though – no leaks and it looks really cool!

Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/t-free-hourglass-travel-tea-tumbler-tea-ware-review/

OMGsrsly

I was hoping you’d review this! I’ve been pondering getting one for summer cold brewing on-the-go. :)

ashmanra

Nice review! His did you get the owl to stay upright in the gaiwan? :)

Oolong Owl

I got lucky on the the size of the owl and the squishyness of her feet, plus she was well behaved.

Cavocorax

Thanks for the review! I was checking that tumbler out but didn’t quite “get” how it works. This helps a ton!

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98
reviewed Libre Tea Travel Glass by Teaware
35 tasting notes

With this bottle, the mesh is not immersed in the boiling water as with other infusers.

If you watch the videos online, they point out so many ways to use this wrong, making it sooooo easy to use. I make my tea, let it stand 5 minutes to let steam escape, put the lid on, throw the bottle in my bag, and I’m on my way. It might leak if you bump the lid, but it’s only drops.

I like the idea of the see-through infuser but I’m always afraid of breaking the glass ones and my Bodum tea press leaks through the top.

The Libre Tea bottle is perfect… now if only I could find it in a bigger size for road trips, etc.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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88
reviewed Libre Tea Travel Glass by Teaware
103 tasting notes

I’ve been using this for about a month now and still use it everyday! Love it! I still wouldn’t tip it upside down to brew however…it leaks sometimes still. But as in a previous review by Hesper June I too have sometimes been brewing tea in it! Since I don’t have a gongfu teapot or a gaiwan, this seemed perfect (technically a bit big) for gongfu brewing but it does the job and I don’t spend more money:)

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88
reviewed Libre Tea Travel Glass by Teaware
103 tasting notes

I bought the large mug specifically for Rooibos teas or herbals where you can leave the leaves brewing for an extended period of time. I love that the filter strains the Rooibos when I am drinking it. I have never had any problem with the rooibos passing through the filter. I have tried brewing the tea the alternate way (by putting it in the filter and tipping it upside down after the required cooling period) and have gotten occasional leaks. I contacted the company and they have been very helpful with hints etc and even offered to send me a new seal! I am still not sold on the inverting method of brewing the tea in this mug—by the time the hot water cools to the point that i can invert it my black tea doesn’t seem to brew nicely; however it is great for brewing my rooibos. I use the mug everyday!

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91
reviewed Kati loose tea system by Teaware
87 tasting notes

The only gripe I have about this system is that the strainer doesn’t stay level in the cup. Yes, I know this is a minor gripe, but sometimes I’m a little bit compulsive, and you would think that a strainer/cup/lid designed for each other could fit together PERFECTLY. I also like to fill the cup up as high as possible. Since the strainer isn’t level, I often fill the cup just a hair too high for the low end of the strainer and get a few leaves floating over into my tea. Besides this minor MINOR complaint, I love it!

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90
reviewed Kati loose tea system by Teaware
52 tasting notes

I ordered myself one of these after using my mother’s a couple times and really enjoying it. Annoyingly, even though I ordered a design with birds and magnolias, the cup I received was plain white. I wrote to Amazon to complain, and they did nothing, then wrote to Tea Forte and they sent me a replacement and said to keep the first cup. So, these are my current favorites to use, and I really enjoy having two to switch around and use during the day without having to constantly wash.

The cups keep tea nice and hot while it steeps, and the lids also help a lot. The strainer is fairly effective, and better than many I’ve tried at keeping small particles out of the liquor.

Michelle Butler Hallett

I have a similar set, only in a clear glass mug. The lid makes such a difference.

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51
reviewed Libre Tea Travel Glass by Teaware
807 tasting notes

Full Review will be on http://sororiteasisters.com/ on the 12th. Its a lengthy review but here are the snippits for now:

I have mixed feelings about my Libre Tea Glass n Poly Original.

To begin, there is one strong point about this tea glass that I want to point out. I have no idea why it is not highlighted more on their site, perhaps it is and I have not found it, but it is one of the most breathtaking parts about this item so if I were selling them I would have it very easy to find on the site. The part I am talking about is the lid! (stunning photo will be included in the full review on http://sororiteasisters.com/ )

More on sipping: Maybe it is me, maybe I really do have a drinking problem, a tea drinking problem that is, but sometimes if I am not being mindful enough, when I take a sip there is a dribble, usually ending up on my shirt. I feel it has to do with the small sipping radius of the opening, and the threads where the lid screws on. The opening radius is small – my entire nose more or less has to go into the glass to get my lips around the opening. That makes it even more difficult to sip while the tea is still hot. No worries though that does not last too terribly long. Also due to the radius it is difficult to get enough of my mouth in the right place for proper sipping. Granted I may have a big mouth but it is something I have noticed. Due to it being a travel glass however I really don’t want the hassle of having to be all that mindful while sipping on the go. Ease of use could be far better.

Size: Yes it does matter. I got the original size Libre. Its a decent size. Fits my small hand perfectly. If I liked it more, if it retained heat better, I would probably also get a larger size for longer travels as I can sip a tea down in light speed. However I will pass on getting a larger one due to the issues I have with this one.

For me the downfall is I truly do not ENJOY sipping my tea out of the Libre Glass n Poly and tea should be enjoyable to sip.

I address heat retention and other issues as well so don’t miss the full review! :)

Helena

finding the right mug or travel mug is hard to do. I use Contigo autoseal travel mugs and now I don’t really use normal mugs or glasses anymore…
http://www.gocontigo.com/autoseal-stainless-steel-travel-mug.html
http://www.gocontigo.com/autoseal-aria-stainless-steel-travel-mug.html

JC

Nice Review! I have a question. I don’t have one of those. I have a ‘Fuguang’, I’m sure one is based of another. The infuser was designed to have the tea on the ‘lid’ portion, but I never use it like that at all. I use it to brew tea on the Glass portion and pour out, I feel it works a million times better that way.

I had the same problem you mentioned where it seems like is perfect to steeps but when drinking it has it’s flaws. Have your tried other versions that have middle glass portion on the ‘lid’? I recently got one of those, it works a lot better for me now. Similar to this one http://www.aliexpress.com/item/260ml-Fuguang-luxury-crystal-double-wall-cup-and-Two-Lids-with-china-picture-for-tea-with/499161835.html

Azzrian

Both of those look intriguing!
Thank you for the links BOTH of you!

Sil

I second Helena’s thought. I use two of those every morning. Go go Costco 2 packs haha

Sil

Also, strangely my comment from last night isn’t here…but thanks for the review! I’ve been tempted to pick one up, but I jthink it would just end up only being something for cold brewing things…

Cissystix

I have a Libre tea glass, the larger one and I like it very much. I mostly use it at work and brew the tea in the lower portion of the glass. I leave the loose leaves in there and add water when it gets low. A few times, if I didn’t drink very fast, the tea might oversteep a bit, but this has not bothered me much. It stays hot about an hour and I tend to rest the lid on top of the glass betwseen sips and that seems to help keep it hot. For using at work and in the car, I am pleased with it. The first one I received had a crack in the top of the container where the glass and polycarbonate meet and the strainer screws on. That leaked miserably. They replaced it within a few days and I have had no more leaks. A couple of tips that are helpful…. I always screw the strainer portion on before I add hot water. Otherwise the heat of the water makes the bottom expand enough to where screwing on the strainer is a challenge. Also, I watched the video on the Libre website and I definitely let the steam escape for the first few minutes of brewing before I put the lovely golden leafed top on. I tried putting the leaves on top of the strainer a couple of times and turning the glass over for steeping per their directions and I gave up on that. The glass would leak a bit if there was still steam and the leaves clogged the strainer and kept the water from going through to the bottom if I poured the water over the leaves. It was too messy and tedious for me. Usually I use loose tea or sachets in the bottom. The sachets are easy to remove to avoid oversteeping. I simply leave in loose leaves and resteep. I have given two as gifts and they liked them very much. I drink with the strainer screwed on and have no problem. With the strainer off, the bottom portion alone isn’t comfortable for me to sip from. Overall, I would buy it again, but I am also interested in the Fuguang glass JC mentioned in another comment.

Azzrian

Thank you Cissystix for the really nice follow up review! I agree on several points you made. The lid IS gorgeous isn’t it! I have no idea why they don’t show it more on their site.
I really do not like to leave the leaves in the glass but its just a personal thing. I don’t like over steeped tea and since I don’t drink my tea as fast when out and about that usually ends up happening.
You are right drinking with the strainer on is better – I don’t spill it on myself as much but I only get to do that when I take out the steeped leaves before leaving home and I often don’t have the time or want to do that if I am adding water elsewhere. Regardless – its a great idea but still I stand by there are some issues to work out. I just want THE PERFECT on the go steeper.

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51
reviewed Libre Tea Travel Glass by Teaware
807 tasting notes

Tried mine for the first time today. Had some issues. I am not rating until I give it another go. Was not user error – I read the instructions – watched the video ….
Not thrilled but giving it more time and more usage.
Will do full review when I am not exhausted – plus need to go get the tea stains out of my pants from the earlier disaster.
MEH.

Nicole

Yeah… I have washed some things twice, including an antique doily to try and get the tea out from my accident with the ingenuiTea…But at least I know mine was operator error. :) Hope you get the hang of it and like it.

Sweet Canadian

I’m thinking of getting one of these so keep me updated Azzrian. I looked at the smaller one today. I want a decent glass travel mug.

Lynxiebrat

I hope it works out in the long run, Azzrian:)

Azzrian

Thanks everyone! Nicole – I hope your antique doily came out clean.
I read about your operator error – yikes I would probably do the same thing lol
Sweet Canadian – I will keep you posted … for the full price point I paid I am not too excited about it but it was recently on sale I would not get one at full price if you can grab one on sale.
I do have several issues with it though but as I said in fairness to the product I want to try it again.
But one thing is for sure, unless you like your tea barely warm, its not worth it.

Kasumi no Chajin

be safe about it…hot liquids, glass, fatigue…looking forward to the update.

Sweet Canadian

I have a timolino I use all the time, so having one that keeps it super hot isn’t something that is a must for me. I usually end up drinking it right away. I want to get a bigger mug that I can use on days I want more tea.

Azzrian

I would absolutely get the larger size then. This is quite small in my opinion.

Sweet Canadian

I found a shop here that sells the large size so I went ahead and got one! I think it will be a great addition to my travel mugs, because I usually use a Timolino, so I can throw the timolino in my bag on days that I am at school long hours for later, and drink out of the Libre right away.

Whiskey Buzz

I had a defect initially but they sent a replacement and it’s amazing!

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100
reviewed Matcha Sifter by Teaware
807 tasting notes

LOVE mine!
Full review on http://sororiteasisters.com/ on the 7th but here are my snippits:\

The sifter comes with this scoop like tool that helps you push or drag the matcha along the screen to sift it.

Its easy to clean as well which for me is a HUGE plus!

The canister is quite large. I have sifted a full 60 grams of matcha and had plenty of room to spare.

I find it far more convenient than using what I had in the past which was just your basic kitchen strainer. I always made messes when using that and wasted some good matcha!

Please visit the blog to find out more!

Indigobloom

a matcha sifter?! love it!

Azzrian

Yeah its really quite handy! :)

ashmanra

Yay! I have been wanting this for a while!

Azzrian

Are you going to get one?

ashmanra

I hope so! I have a friend who is just getting into matcha so I sent her a link to see if she wants to order with me.

Azzrian

Nice! Hope you love yours as much as I do mine! If I had fewer matcha I may get one for each flavor but well you know …. too many matcha :)

Kasumi no Chajin

It is good to see these online, I have been wanting one since I was a kid, seeing them in stores on trips to CA with family.

Azzrian

Glad to help point them out! :)

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100
reviewed Aladdin Tea Infuser Mug by Teaware
713 tasting notes

I have had my Aladdin tea infuser mug for at least four years and I still love it. It is a double walled plastic thermos mug with and internal fine mesh basket in the lid that sits above the water line until you lower it. You fill the basket with your tea, fill the thermos to the fill line with hot water and when you are ready to lower the basket in the water or raise it, you use the lever on the outside of the lid to move the basket. You never have to open the mug to steep your tea. I read that it is microwave safe, but I have never put mine in the microwave. The lever mechanism has metal, so it would I’d microwave only the mug part.

I first bought one for my sister as a gift and a few months later purchased my own. When comparing notes with her, she complained that the infuser basket on hers would always fall down into the water. Mine clicks when put up and stays in place. I called the company to inquire about the difference and they offered to send a replacement! The new one was just like mine with a clicking sound when the basket is raised. I have read other reviews complaining about the falling basket and I’m guessing Aladdin was paying attention to it and fixed the issue in later models.

My experience with this mug has been fantastic. I do try to keep it upright and and not just toss it in a bag and I haven’t had any leaks. The inside of the mug has etched a little over years of use and slightly discolored, but it doesn’t seem to hold onto smell much. Pouring boiling water and baking soda resolves both those issues. The basket mesh is fine enough that I haven’t had any issues of smaller particles finding their way into my tea. My only complaint is that the basket is small for teas that need lots of room for expansion, but it would make the whole mug bulkier so it’s a trade off I can live with. With the double walled design, the mug keeps tea warm for a while. I find it irritating when I want to drink my tea sooner than later, but it’s better than the opposite problem and my tea is still warm if I forget it for a while.

Someone asked me how well it holds heat so I did an experiment. I poured boiling water in the mug and took the temperature every half hour. It was sitting inside my house (kept at 70F) and I opened the part of the lid that you sip through to stick the thermometer in, then closed it again when I got a temp. Here is what I got: @0m/188F, 30m/149F, 60m/130F, 90m/120F, 120m/109F, 150m/98F It won’t keep your tea warm all day, but it will be warm for a couple hours.

Overall I’m quite satisfied with this mug and I would happily buy it again if it eventually gave out.

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100

Got this amazing tea infuser for Christmas. Love it! It makes brewing tea so much simpler and is easy to clean. Mine came from teajo.

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94
reviewed Magic Tea Filter by Teaware
354 tasting notes

Dear reader, I feared this was a gimmick. I can not resist gimmicks even when I identify them correctly and had been craving this for, like ever, and never been on stock or available from any place with reasonable shipping. Till now, when thanks to a friend who spotted the very last one (obrigada!) I got one of my very own! Would it live up to expectations?

By the way this is theoretically Yumchaa´s Magic tea Filter http://www.yumchaa.com/produkty/tea-making-equipment/38/ though the box says this is Magic II by Cha Cult and patented to them though it seems there are tons of different versions of this. It´s a sort of good-plastic mug with a good silicone filter at bottom. You put the tea in, pour the water and after steeping, place over a mug which is smaller in diameter than the bottom of this infuser, the pression at bottom makes the water pour from the bottom. Gimmick or not?

At first, without figuring out how to remove the filter or lid for easier cleaning I very much feared it was a gimmick. Fun but so not easy to clean up. What would be the point of something much more difficult to clean than a regular teapot if it does not brew better than a regular teapot? But then I figured out how to remove the filter and lid for easier rinsing and cleaning, and OK that changes everything. Particularly for rooibos teas or for multiple steeps of the same tea – it really is more convenient while not being any more difficult to clean. I love seeing how the leaves expanded and opened during the infusion. I am pretty happy with it so far!

As drawbacks, well, you got to let the tea leaves cool a bit before removing them to clean the filter – I surprisingly more difficult to remember this than you would think. And for some reason this little .5 liter pot and the transparency of the pot I keep misjudging how much leaf to use – I suspect it will come with practice. But in all, more than a gimmick, a very nice well thought tool I am glad I got. BUT and there is a but, while really very convenient for a few brews (multiple steeps, rooibos), I am not sure this makes better tea than any old regular teapot with loose tea and a strainer.

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67

My microwave broke and I have been enjoying the throwback to the 70’s lifestyle before microwaves were standard in every house, so I haven’t replaced or fixed it. The feature I miss most on it is the timer, so when I saw this tea timer while grocery shopping it was obvious it must come home with me.

This timer has a couple features that are pretty neat. It can double as a lid for a standard small round tea tin, which is pretty clever designing! It’s a tight squeeze, but it works. That feature would probably suit someone who has only a few teas in their collection. I have over 30 teas in my cupboard, so searching for the one tin with the timer isn’t going to work in my house. Fortunately it also has a magnet inside the plastic casing, so I am able to stick it on my fridge instead. Perfect! It has five preset buttons, color coordinated for the type of tea; 1 minute for white, 2 for green, 4 for black, 5 for oolong and 6 for herbal. It also has a button for you to add minutes to the time, one to add seconds to the time, both of which beep for every second/minute you add (annoying) and the start/stop button. The preset buttons are great, but it’s the recommended time for their teas to steep. Other companies have different suggestions for steeping time for their teas, so I find myself having to add time to adjust. Not the end of the world, but not super convenient either. The timer only goes up to nine minutes and fifty nine so you can’t use it for any other application that may need more time. If you add too much time you have to reset it which consists of pressing the start/stop button enough to clear it. I like that it runs on standard AAA batteries, not some hard to find watch sized, but it looks like you need a screwdriver to get past the 4 screws and into the battery compartment. I have only had it for a few days, but I’m finding the buttons get stuck and don’t pop back up the way they should. I have to press on them and tilt them in the opposite direction of where they are stuck to release them. Lastly, the beep reminds me of some super annoying digital alarm clock that left early morning scars on my subconscious. I would have preferred a little tune of some sort that doesn’t set off a clawing urgency inside me to shut the timer up when I’m preparing to relax with a cup of tea, but oh well!

Despite the down sides and room for improvement, I dub this sleek looking little timer a keeper.

tperez

You drank your timer?!? That sounds unhealthy! :D

Dustin

If Steepster had a more obvious way to rate teaware, I wouldn’t have had to drink this timer in order to review it. And believe me, I looked around a bit on here before giving in and drinking this thing! :P

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70

I like these infusers well enough. They’re fairly sturdy as glass infusers go. The bottom is perfectly flat though, which causes a bit of suction on most wet surfaces. I haven’t had this problem with other double-wall glass infusers like this, and I’ve owned quite a few. The upside is that this design makes them very stable.

I use both the small and large version, particularly with Longjing teas. I’ve begun using the smaller one more frequently in combination with my 5 oz Finum glass. Find they compliment each other very well, being a good size match when brewing and leaving a root.

Though not my favorite, I still end up buying these, as I can get them at a discount from my local tea shop, Wing Hop Fung. I break my glassware more often then I care to admit, so price and convenience is a consideration. The downside of buying from Wing Hop Fung is that it appears they often carry seconds, which usually translates into minor visual imperfection, or worse, the filter doesn’t fit properly and will push through. Often this can be corrected by bending the little tabs that help hold it in place, but better still is to just dig through all their boxes until you get one that’s in good shape.

If you find yourself in Los Angeles, it’d certainly be worth checking these out, especially if they’re having a sale! Otherwise, not being able to inspect them first, I’d be hesitant to order one online.

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92

In an office in Singapore, the temperature is usually very cool (and way below that of outside air); I’m not that sensitive to the cold and my friends in Europe can attest to that as some complained it was too cold in my home in winter. However I’m quite sensitive to strong temperature differences between places.
This sitting in a cold draft feeling explains why I drink more tea here than I used to, because sometimes I really need the hot cup to keep my fingers from getting blue and to warm my insides – environmental nonsense in a country where a very cool outside temperature stand around 27°C (around 80°F). Drinking tea also helped me compensate for my drastic cut in my daily espresso consumption (from 5 to 6 a day to 1)
At the office, the coffee is excellent, but the available teas are really average tea-bags, that I’ve all tried and drank once but either knew I had to avoid at all cost forever or could drink but did not feel like having again.
I decided then that life was too short to waste on drinking brewed dust, bitter and sometimes even vile-tasting brews which left me almost queasy after one cup.
I wanted something convenient, easy to clean, not fragile, as I can be a bit of a klutz and knew I would have to carry my cup back and forth between the kitchen and my desk. This last criteria definitely ruled out the Bodum Tea for one set, which I was already afraid to break when putting down on the store’s table, and for which the salesguy told me it was great because you could still use the filter (plastic mesh) with another cup, when the double-glass cup got broken by the clumsy customer.

After a while, I came across this set, which was on sale, and available in a nice fuchsia color.
I liked the design, the glass looked sturdy, easy to handle, without any risks thanks to the silicon wide ring. I also liked that the filter was a very fine mesh, through which rooibos could not go through. What I found a bit disappointing was the glass capacity (bigger than the Bodum though), especially as there was a larger glass with the same design available but without the strainer and cover.
It’s very convenient to use, rather easy to rinse, without having to use a sponge or brush to take the tea / rooibos leaves outside of the strainer. I usually manage not to have tea dripping on my desk when taking the filter out of the cup or back into it; the strainer handle fits really well, never gets hot. The filter is really stable once set onto the cover dish. The large silicon ring around the glass allows for a very comfortable walk with the glass full, the grip not feeling slippery at all even with clammy hands, unlike when holding a normal glass.
The glass and strainer get stained by tea (which I do not mind but some others might). However my main concern is that the plastic mesh is already quite crinkled, as if it could not completely stand boiling hot water temperature. I have trouble to believe this filter can be as long-lasting as a stainless steel one. I had not directly compared it with the Bodum, but both had seemed very similar.
As it is, I’m very happy with this set whose advantages are obvious everyday to my clumsy self.
Had I found before the Forlife strainer, I probably would have bought two of these, one for home, one for the office instead of this set.
Time will tell which one of the two (stainless steel vs. plastic mesh) strainers is the more long-lasting one…

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C
Barbara

And do you have a preferance by now for the steel or mesh strainer?

LaFleurBleue

The plastic is still in very good shape, though honey-colored. Not more crinkles than at first.
I like its lightness and the bright color which makes it quite fun for the office.
My only complaint would be that I have the feeling the plastic retains some flavors of the teaas when I pour hot water on top of it before putting new tea leaves, the water soon become slighty orange.
At the same time, I never wash it with detergent, just throw the leaves away, and a quick rinse. Rooibos I often drink late afternoon and I also leave it dry in the mesh as it gets easier to empty on the following morning.

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